Friday News: Building an Indian bestseller, copyright wrongs, breakaway brides, and Edwardian photos
This is how a bestselling book is made in India today – Interesting article by literary agent Kanishka Gupta about Ajay K Pandey’s debut bestseller, You Are The Best Wife, as he seems to follow in Ravinder Singh’s footsteps (including the fact that they both write “misery-lit”). Pandey’s book has sold about 50,000 copies in India, making it the top selling book right now. In a contrast to Singh, Pandey studied Amazon bestsellers to understand what was popular.
In his email to us, Pandey had mentioned how the USP of the book was that it was a true story. He had also made a humble request: “I want a couple photograph of me along with my wife at any corner of the book. At the end, all my income from this book will be donated via some means. I am only writing it to give tribute to my beloved wife.” . . .
“I actually shortlisted the titles based on the Amazon rankings and the number of reviews they got on e-commerce sites,” he added. The habit of scribbling random memories with Bhavna in a diary soon after her death also gave him the confidence to attempt a full-length book. “I was depressed after her death and used to fill up the diary even during office hours,” Pandey recalled. He remembered one piece of advice for writers on a website that stayed with him: “If you are writing something sad then it must move the readers to tears. It must make them feel uncomfortable and shake them up.” – Quartz India
Cory Doctorow: Sole and Despotic Dominion – A cogent argument on the evolution of copyright and the way that DRM technology (and the DMCA) has perverted the concept and privileged corporations over individuals. Doctorow is currently working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to legally invalidate section 1201 of the DMCA (and, ideally, do away with DRM altogether). Note the way Doctorow contrasts how DRM has shifted the balance of power away from readers (and individual authors, for that matter):
If copyright law were a system of magic in a fantasy novel, we’d never buy it. It’s full of exceptions and carve-outs that ignore its alleged underlying rationale and just fiddle things around for the sake of narrative convenience. That’s why copyright contains the ‘‘doctrine of exhaustion,’’ which says that when I sell you a book I wrote, my interest in that book is ‘‘exhausted’’ and you can sell it to someone else, give it away, or lend it, etc. Why? Because books are a lot older than copyright, and common sense recoils from the idea that the dead hand of the author weighs down the volumes on your bookcase, dictating how you may read and dispose of your books. . . .
From a reader perspective, Amazon’s DRM meant that the legal rights that publishers had been falsely insisting that copyright gave them for all those years suddenly became enforceable. Copyright’s ‘‘doctrine of exhaustion’’ still applied, meaning you could sell or give away your e-books, but because you had to break a DRM to do so, you couldn’t. By failing to distinguish between lock-breaking for legal and illegal purposes, DMCA 1201 gave publishers and movie studios and game companies the power to make up their own private laws and outsource their enforcement to the public courts and police. Breaking a DRM in order to lend your e-book to a friend is just as illegal under the DMCA as breaking the DRM in order to make your own edition and sell it on the Silk Road by the million. – Locus Magazine
The Breakaway Bride – In which millennials are smashing tradition, adapting bridal fashions to a new standard (or is it really all that new?).
“The ready-to-wear, red carpet and bridal worlds are tending to converge,” said Ms. Guy, who finds that many of her clients are turning for inspiration not to their mothers or bridal publications but to Pinterest boards and popular Instagram feeds.
To court them, the industry has loosened its stays. “We are becoming more experimental,” said Georgina Chapman, who, with Keren Craig, designs the Marchesa ready-to-wear and bridal collections, as well as Notte, a new diffusion bridal line whipped up from lightweight materials that reflect the springtime runways. We are “exploring how to keep a dress or suit romantic while making it fashion-forward,” Ms. Chapman said. – New York Times
Rare Beautiful Autochromes of Edwardian Ladies (16 photos) – Lovely color images, and interesting to contemplate alongside photos in the previous article. – Old Pics Archive